Dear All,

I wonder how you view the New Year.  Might it be with some hesitancy?  Where will Brexit negotiations have arrived at by the end of March?  Will the numbers of homeless nationally continue to rise?  Will we be ready for all the wonderful events due to happen in our Church and Hall in this local community, let alone all that our city holds in store for 2018?

The New Year can catch us by surprise, as so much happens early in 2018.  Ash Wednesday (the beginning of Lent) takes place on Valentine’s Day (14 Feb).  Easter Day will be on April 1st (April Fool’s Day!)  And we look forward to a royal wedding the day before Pentecost (though not in our parish church!)

Making resolutions for the New Year will be a great help in refocusing our priorities and energies.  The Covenant Service we held in December has been a help for us all in preparing for the New Year in the right spirit.  I am tempted to ‘wait and see’ and go hesitantly into 2018 – after all, we none of us know what’s round the corner.  But another part of me thinks that if we are only ever reacting, and never being proactive, then we may find that many opportunities in life just slip by.  If I find out what I should be doing, and make some plans, then there should be a better chance of fulfilling my aims in life.  Some will balk at this, and say that due to age or ill health they can only afford to think of one day at a time.  However, I wonder if a resetting of the compass might even be helpful to those in such situations.

How do I reset my compass? How do I find out what I should be doing in life?  Why not put aside a half hour, and begin by inviting the Lord Jesus Christ to once more be the centre of your life.  Ask Him to take charge and direct your ways.  Maybe he will bring people to mind for you, people whom He is trusting you to invest into their lives, by spending time with them.  Suddenly you will find that instead of it being a ‘me-centred’ exercise of goals for personal achievement, that aspect will come way down the list.  It is still important to include them, but they won’t be your first concern.

Do share with somebody you trust, what you have arrived at for New Year Resolutions / hopes and plans for 2018.  May the Lord bless you as you give Him rightfully first place in your life.  And may He grant you a fulfilling 2018 as you look to Him to direct your priorities and plans.